North Carolina state senator James Forrester, sponsor of a recent bill that approved an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment to go before voters in May, walked out on a radio interview with Sirius XM's Michelangelo Signorile Tuesday when confronted by the host about the legislation's intent, as well as the senator's history of peddling falsehoods about gay people. The 22-minute appearance went south when Signorile posed specific questions on marriage -- or divorce, to be exact:
SIGNORILE: Why don't you ban divorce, why not?
FORRESTER: That wasn't my intent of the legislation.
SIGNORILE: Is divorce a good thing? I'll ask you some yes or no's, how's that? Divorce a good thing?
FORRESTER: I think I'm going to end this conversation right now because I see you're completely negative, on the other side, trying to set me up.
(Audio of the exchange, as well as Signorile's take on the interview, is available here.)
The North Carolina antigay amendment has been slammed by LGBT advocates and their allies for both its malicious intent and questionable timing.
"[I]n an unholy alliance between antigay Republicans and some spineless Democrats, the legislature reached a 'compromise' to advance this cruel constitutional amendment to the ballot, not in November 2012, where turnout would be large, but in May, to coincide with the Republican presidential primary," Freedom to Marry national campaign director Marc Solomon wrote this month in an Advocate.com op-ed.
"This is apparently the case because anti-equality Democrats wanted to vote for the bill as long as they were sure it wouldn't be on the November 2012 ballot, when they thought it could hurt their own chances by driving social conservatives to the polls," Solomon wrote. "And while we are in fact making great headway with Republicans, let's just say that Republican primary voters in North Carolina are not our best demographic."
Earlier this month, Congressman Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat representing the state's 13th district, told this magazine that he strongly opposed the amendment and decided to cosponsor legislation to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act partly as a result. Senator Kay Hagan, a fellow Democrat, has said she "remains wary of attempts to alter constitutions in the heat of today's charged political environment" but has not specifically addressed the North Carolina amendment (her colleague, Republican senator Richard Burr, hasn't either).